Transnational Migration, Citizenship and the Circulation of Rights and Responsibilities (TRANSMIC)

Changing modes of citizenship in migrant-sending countries: the link between new forms of quasi-citizenship and return migration

(ESR 10; CEPS)

This research project investigates the emergence of new modes of citizenship in three of the largest migrant-sending countries China, India and Turkey, as well as in Suriname. All countries have recently discussed, or even introduced, new forms of ‘quasi’-citizenship, granting former nationals residing abroad and holding a foreign nationality special benefits and rights that come close to citizenship status. Even though the approaches differ on crucial points, policy makers in the these countries pursue the aim of engaging and stimulating the return of highly-skilled migrants spurred by the objective to encourage diaspora investments and the transfer of skills and knowledge. In China, dual citizenship is prohibited, but diaspora members are granted extensive residence rights and may receive ‘green cards’ providing them with the same privileges as locals. Similarly, in India, dual citizenship is prohibited by the Indian constitution but former Indian citizens may receive an ‘Overseas Indian Citizenship’ (OCI) Card. Despite its name, the card does not grant citizenship but provides holders with a wide range of residential and socio-economic rights. In Turkey, so-called ‘pink cards’ award a privileged status to non-citizens of Turkish origin. Suriname discusses the so-called PSA-status (persoon van Surinaamse afkomst) for people of Surinamese origin. These countries all have a sizable diaspora residing in Member States of the European Union. The ESR project will describe the different concepts and explore to what extent the introduction of ‘quasi’-citizenship regimes in migrant-sending countries has been ‘successful’ in encouraging return migration from Europe to China, India, Turkey and Suriname. Moreover, it will be analysed which of these regimes are the most viable ones and whether these regimes constitute an attractive alternative for allowing dual citizenship.

Researcher: Ngo Chun Luk  (profile page)

Status: finished. Dissertation successfully defended on 14 December 2017 at Maastricht University.